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National Museum of Rural Life

Explore life in the countryside at our five-star museum, farmhouse and historic working farm.

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Clydesdale horse

Our beautiful Clydesdale horses are one of the star attractions at the National Museum of Rural Life

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The Reid family

The Wester Kittochside Farm at National Museum of Rural Life was owned and run by the Reid family for more than 400 years.

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Colour photo of a combine harvester being used in the field.
Harvesting machinery of the 20th century

At the National Museum of Rural Life we have a significant collection of 20th-century harvesting machines in our large machinery store.

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Clyde's Winter Trail

Discover how Clyde and his friends have been getting ready for the festive season decorating their stables and celebrating.

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Architecture trail of the National Museum of Scotland

The National Museum of Scotland is housed in magnificent buildings. Find out about its striking architectural details below, and explore them further on your next visit to our Museum.

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Visiting our museums

Discover the latest information about visiting our museums

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Museum map

Plan the perfect trip to the National Museum of Rural Life

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Tractors

From the early 20th century, the tractor helped to transformed farm life in Scotland. There are several examples on display in the collection at the National Museum of Rural Life, East Kilbride.

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Tour the National Museum of Scotland on Google StreetView

The National Museum of Scotland has become the first museum or gallery in Scotland available for exploration online via Google Arts & Culture’s Museum View experience.

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Festive Weekend

Enjoy a weekend of festive family fun at the National Museum of Rural Life.

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Colour photo of a man holding a small child whilst looking at a willow sculpture of a cat sitting on a wall.
Willow Sculpture Trail

Discover our new trail on a walk to the farm.

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Nature Track Packs

Explore more at the National Museum of Rural Life this summer with our new Nature Track Packs.

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National Museum of Scotland

Your journey of discovery starts here

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National War Museum

Within the walls of Edinburgh Castle, the National War Museum tells the story of Scotland at war.

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Clyde's Museum Adventure

Explore the highlights of the museum and our working farm with this family trail.

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National Museum of Flight

Wing your way to one of Scotland's top days out at East Fortune Airfield.

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Museum building at the National Museum of Rural Life © Wattie Cheung
Booking tickets

The National Museum of Rural Life is open and tickets are available to book online.

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Trails for the National Museum of Rural Life

Explore inside the National Museum of Rural Life with your class using our themed trails.

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Visiting FAQs

Learn more about what’s changed to help you plan your visit to the National Museum of Rural Life.

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The Reid Family Christmas and New Year

The Wester Kittochside Farm at National Museum of Rural Life was owned and run by the Reid family for more than 400 years. Find out how the tenth laird and his family celebrated Christmas and New Year on the farm.

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Making the Museum

More than 10 million objects make their home at the National Museum of Scotland. Discover the secrets of our treasures with this unique five-part series.

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Wester Kittochside

The history of the Reid family and farming on the Wester Kittochside farm National Museum of Rural Life.

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Image adapted from a lithograph by J. Maclise, 1841/1844. Credit: Wellcome Collection
Anatomy: A Matter of Death and Life

This exhibition explored the history of anatomical study, from artistic explorations by Leonardo da Vinci to the Burke and Hare murders.

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History of the National Museum of Scotland

In 2016, we celebrated 150 years since the magnificent building that houses the National Museum of Scotland first opened to the public. Explore the Museum’s history here.

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Farm animals

Our working farm at the National Museum of Rural Life is home to Ayrshire, Aberdeen Angus and Highland cattle, Tamworth pigs, sheep, hens and Clydesdale horses.

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Embroidered hanging depicting a pomegranate tree, roses and other flowers, foliage and birds: designed by May Morris, 1891.
Discovering Decorative Arts at the National Museum of Scotland

National Museums Scotland are delighted to welcome back the University of Edinburgh Short Courses – a great way to explore our collections and their wider history with experts.

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Romans in Scotland: Trimontium Museum loan

Discover objects on loan to the new Trimontium Museum in the Scottish Borders

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Who was Robert Burns?

Discover the life of the National Bard through the collections of National Museums Scotland.

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Tour of the Kingdom of the Scots Gallery

Join curator Lydia Prosser for a guided virtual tour of our Kingdom of the Scots gallery at the National Museum of Scotland.

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Chinese Oracle Bones

Visitors discovered some of the treasures within the National Museum Scotland's significant collection of oracle bones, the second largest in the world outside of China.

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The story of the plough

After 4,000 years the plough is still with us and its development has been at a slow and steady pace but the basic technology has remained the same. Discover more about this essential tool through ploughs in our collection.

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School workshops at the National Museum of Rural Life

Learn where food comes from or how to make butter in one of our facilitator led workshops.

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History

Discover the story of National Museums Scotland, from our 18th century beginnings to the present day.

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Awesome Bricks at home

Recreate your favourite museum objects and places using the LEGO you have at home!

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The Maiden

Long before the French Revolution, the Scots had invented and were using the beheading machine known as the Maiden. It was used to execute criminals and political opponents of the crown from 1564 to 1710.

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Museum Stories with Chief Chebe

Join Chief Chebe as he takes you on two African storytelling adventures at the National Museum of Scotland.

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Romans in Scotland: life on the frontier

Forts were not just military bases, they became the heart of communities

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Museum Maker: How to make paper art

We’ve teamed up with upcyling experts Ostrero and artist Bryony Knox to create three paper-cut designs inspired by Scottish animals. Choose from a stately stag, a magical unicorn or a red squirrel! The designs are inspired by paper-cut art from Mexico . Look out for some examples in our Patterns of Life gallery.

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Visitors in front of the BAC 1-11
Museum map

Plan the perfect trip to the National Museum of Flight

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Waka Taua

Maori craftsmanship and museum conservation bring to life one of our most unusual and intriguing objects.

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Tartan barkcloth by José Hendo

This striking fusion of styles, traditions, and Scottish and Ugandan cultures is designer José Hendo's sustainable fashion statement for our times.

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Prisoners of war at East Kilbride

During and directly after the Second World War, the Reid family at Wester Kittochside, East Kilbride employed both Italian and German prisoners of war.

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Rediscovering Viking-age Scotland with Michael Wood

Acclaimed historian and broadcaster Michael Wood joined Dr Adrián Maldonado, Glenmorangie Research Fellow, to discuss Adrián’s new book, 'Crucible of Nations: Scotland from Viking Age to Medieval Kingdom'. The book reassesses the museum’s Viking-age collections, uncovering an exciting new vision of Scotland’s diverse and creative past.

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